When people think of high-end drones, DJI usually comes to mind, but Autel Robotics isn’t far behind if at all. The company recently showcased its new consumer drone at CES 2020, and it will definitely turn some heads. The EVO II is touted as the world’s first portable 8K drone, thanks to a modular design with a 1/2-inch CMOS sensor capable of capturing 8K video (8000×6000) and 48MP stills. Read more for two videos, including a hands-on, and additional information.
Weighing just 600-pounds, the EH 216 autonomous passenger drone uses sixteen sets of electric motors and propellers to lift itself into the air and move it forward along pre-programmed routes at up to 80 mph, while carrying two passengers or up to 600-pounds. It took to the skies in North Carolina ahead of the 2020 North Carolina Transportation Summit at the Raleigh Convention Center. Read more for a video and additional information.
Sunflower Labs announced today at CES 2020 the Sunflower Home Awareness System, which includes the world’s first fully autonomous residential security drone. This security system pairs always-on motion and vibration sensors with AI processing to provide privacy and peace-of-mind to homeowners while dramatically minimizing false alarms. In addition to the drone, each Sunflower, disguised as garden lights, houses an array of motion and vibration sensors to constantly monitor activity on the property. They’re capable of detecting and differentiating people, animals and cars as well as displaying the activity on a map in real-time. Read more for a video and additional information.
Let’s face it, most drones aren’t designed for extended flights, and that even includes the professional models. Introducing Zero Zero Robotics’ V-Coptr Falcon, which is touted as the world’s first drone with a “V-shaped bi-copter” design. In other words, rather than use four rotors for flight, the Falcon has just two at the end of arms that extend out from the top, but comes equipped with tilting technology. You can easily fold these arms inwards when not in use, all into a portable 730g package. Read more for a video and additional information.
FusionFlight’s AB5 JetQuad is touted as the world’s first jet-powered VTOL drone. This means the team replaced the traditional four electric motors and propellers with four diesel-powered micro-turbine jet engines that produce a combined 200 horsepower at full throttle. It uses a proprietary vectoring system, called the H-Configuration, to direct thrust from these engines for vertical movement when taking off / landing or horizontally while in flight. Read more for two videos and additional information.
Researchers at Caltech and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) have created SQUID (Streamlined Quick Unfolding Investigation Drone), which can be loaded into a cannon and shot into the sky where its rotors are deployed for stabilization and controlled flight. This design is fully 3D printable, launches from a three-inch diameter barrel, and has sufficient thrust to carry a significant payload. Read more for a video and additional information.
US Secretary of Defense Mark T. Esper released a statement claiming that China is manufacturing and selling weaponized drones to the Middle East, while it prepares to export its next generation stealth UAVs [unmanned aerial vehicles]. Chinese weapons manufacturers are also selling drones advertised as capable of full autonomy, including the capability of conducting lethal targeted strikes. Read more for a video and additional information.
Drones are already changing the commerce as well as food delivery industries, and soon, we could be seeing them in the world of luxury. How so? Well, a Netherlands-based Dutch insurance company has managed to create a hammock drone of sorts. Simply put, the idea consists of a regulars-sized hammock that not only can move, but can float just about anywhere, thanks to industrial-sized drones. Read more for the video if you missed it the first time around.
UPS’s Flight Forward drones have now flown prescription medications to the front lawn of a private home and to a retirement center, marking the company’s first revenue-generating deliveries for drugstore chain CVS. The maiden delivery flight was completed on Friday in Cary, North Carolina, and the second drone flight delivered medications to a public space at a retirement community. These shoe box-sized packages were lowered from drones hovering at an altitude of about 20 feet. Read more for two videos and additional information.
DJI’s Mavic Mini weighs a svelte 0.55-pounds, making it just small enough to not require FAA registration requirement, but in terms of features, it’s definitely no slouch. Offering a 12-megapixel 1/2.3-inch CMOS sensor capable of recording 2.7K video at 30fps / 1080p video at 60fps, mounted on a 3-axis motorized gimbal, while its removable Lithium Ion battery is good for 30 minutes of flight time on a single charge. Product page. Read more for two videos and additional information.